Renegade rides out hiccup in cups preparation

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Ryan hopes his talented stayer Sh’bourne Renegade can run a forward race in the Tasmanian Bloodstock Summer Cup in Hobart on Sunday to convince him to progress the gelding to his first main mission, the Ladbrokes Hobart Cup.

SH'BOURNE RENEGADE. Picture: Tas Racing.

In Brief

  • Ryan happy with Sh'bourne Renegade's progress.
  • Sir Simon Brunton's best chance of his four runners.
  • Blacker's Glass Warrior and Swoop Dog will be at the top of the betting.

Sh'bourne Renegade suffered a major setback when a virus shut down his training regime early last month, but his astute mentor has managed to get the gelding back to where he needs to be as he heads towards the Hobart and Launceston cups.

"The setback couldn't have come at a worse time, but the horse has fully recovered, and I've been able to get plenty of work into him and while he will be a bit vulnerable in Sunday's race, I am very happy with how he has progressed these past two weeks," Ryan said.

Sh'bourne Renegade won a trial over 1400m at Longford on Tuesday, after which Ryan said it was "just what he was looking for" heading into Sunday's assignment.

"His trial on Tuesday was super because he raced wide all the way but was still charging to the line, so I couldn't be happier with him."

Sh'Bourne Renegade finished second to Glass Warrior in last year's Launceston Cup, beaten a short half-head and that followed a luckless 10th in the Hobart Cup.

This season the gelding won first-up over 1600m in an open handicap and he had two runs in Devonport for a fourth to White Hawk in the Golden Mile and a third to Mywordis in the Sheffield Cup.

He lines up in what is arguably the best Summer Cup field in ages, with all the genuine Hobart Cup contenders engaged along with some who are hoping to win to gain ballot-free entry into the Hobart Cup.

The Siggy Carr-trained Full Knots Ahead Ahead is guaranteed a start in the Hobart Cup by winning the Brighton Cup that also offered the winner ballot-free entry into the Group 3 event.

But Carr wouldn't mind if her mare added the Summer Cup to her record and given her recent form the six-year-old must be rated a top winning chance, despite being disadvantaged under the weight-for-age conditions of the race.

If Full Knots Ahead emerges triumphant carrying 57kg, she will no doubt be short in Hobart Cup betting as she would drop to 54kg and would be more suited to the 2400-metre trip.

Carr also has new stable acquisition Tavirun engaged and at his second run for the stable after he was sixth in the Devonport Cup and only 4-1/2 lengths from the winner White Hawk.

Devonport Cup winner White Hawk has never raced better, and he won this race last year so the Angela Brakey-trained gelding must be considered a winning chance again, although this time bookmakers won't be offering odds more than $101 like last year.

Former Sydneysider Captain Cook has had two runs this time in with his seventh of nine in the weight-for-age Tasmanian Stakes over 1600m much better than it looks on paper and he must warrant respect as he gets to a more suitable journey on Sunday.

Sir Simon is a bold front-running stayer and while he was expected to stick to the middle-distance events this campaign, connections have had second thoughts and are again giving him the opportunity to win a feature staying event.

The eight-year-old grey gelding is one of four from the Scott Brunton stable in the race, but the grey is clearly his best winning chance with Vallabar and Brinktop Lad yet to be tried at the trip, while Skyway Star has placed once over 2200m at Bendigo but that was in December 2019 when in the care of Symon Wilde.

Skyway Star's four starts for Brunton have produced two wins, a second and a third, so she warrants consideration as an each-way chance on Sunday.

Trainer John Blacker will saddle up last season's Launceston Cup winner Glass Warrior along with last season's three-year-old of the year Swoop Dog and both will be near the top of the market.

Glass Warrior comes off a seventh in the Devonport Cup, but she will be better suited over the 2200m and back on turf also is in her favour.

Swoop Dog is disadvantaged under the weight-for-age conditions but his second to White Hawk in the Devonport Cup was a signal that he is looking for more ground and this will discover whether he is a genuine Hobart-Launceston cups prospect.

The sleeper in the race is the Julie Richards-trained Creative Hero that has been cruising along this preparation and his last-start third in the Brighton Cup was an eye-catcher, which suggests the five-year-old is getting close to a win and victory would guarantee him a start in the Hobart Cup without fear of ballot.

Peter Staples' Best Bets:

Best Bets: Race 5 – 2. Bello Beau, and Race 9 – 2. Laylow Pluck.Best Roughie: Race 3 – 13. Gee Gee Raindrops.

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